DP13887 Global Dimensions of U.S. Monetary Policy

Author(s): Maurice Obstfeld
Publication Date: July 2019
Keyword(s): current account, financial conditions, monetary policy, natural real interest rate, open-economy Phillips curve, spillbacks
JEL(s): E52, E58, F36, F41, G15
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics and Finance, Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13887

This paper is a partial exploration of mechanisms through which global factors influence the tradeoffs that U.S. monetary policy faces. It considers three main channels. The first is the determination of domestic inflation in a context where international prices and global competition play a role, alongside domestic slack and inflation expectations. The second channel is the determination of asset returns (including the natural real safe rate of interest, rĂ¢??) and financial conditions, given integration with global financial markets. The third channel, which is particular to the United States, is the potential spillback onto the U.S. economy from the disproportionate impact of U.S. monetary policy on the outside world. In themselves, global factors need not undermine a central bank's ability to control the price level over the long term -- after all, it is the monopoly issuer of the numeraire in which domestic prices are measured. Over shorter horizons, however, global factors do change the tradeoff between price-level control and other goals such as low unemployment and financial stability, thereby affecting the policy cost of attaining a given price path.